Well, it ended up running over a bit, but this post concludes my “Witcher Month” that actually started over a month ago way back in June!! Earlier today I *finally* finished playing The Witcher III: Wild Hunt, which is now an absolute contender for my ‘Game of the Year’ award towards the end of 2015. An utterly phenomenal game, I enjoyed every second of it and while I was kinda sad to see it end (just because it’s become my go-to game over the past two months), at least I got what was in my opinion the best overall ending I could have possibly achieved. My decisions during the game, and the time I invested into the characters side-quests and personal stories, paid off and delivered both a satisfying conclusion to this *epic* game and also to the Witcher Saga as a whole. The videogame related articles that I wrote this month include:
In the end it took me 207 hours to complete The Witcher III: Wild Hunt, which I did blind and accepted the result of any decisions that I made as I went along. I only have one regret, which was that I wasn’t able to save the Baron. This time-to-complete includes all side quests (excluding Gwent, fist fighting and horse racing), all Witcher contracts, and all treasure hunting for Witcher gear. I ended the game at Level 35 and with all master crafted Witcher gear.
While I went in blind regarding the main quests and side quests, I did buy The Witcher III: Wild Hunt Official Collector’s Edition Strategy Guide to help me find Witcher gear and things like places of power scattered throughout the game world. This is a beautifully made guide book, with lots of useful information, although I did notice *lots* of omissions during my playthrough, such as places of power that simply were not included in the guide. Also, using the book to find some of the rare alchemical ingredients is not always the easiest thing to do and I often just jumped on a forum to ask people where I could find formulae or diagrams to make things. Still, with this collector’s edition guide you also get a small reproduction book from the videogame about the Northern Kingdoms and surrounding lands, and this little book is absolutely brilliant!! It looks gorgeous and is entertaining to read. If you’re looking for more information regarding both game and book there is also The World of the Witcher, which is a sort of compendium and companion to the Witcher Saga and especially to The Witcher III: Wild Hunt. This book has *tons* on fantastic artwork and detailed information about the places, people and monsters of the Witcher universe and is a fantastic accompaniment to the videogame, providing that you don’t read all the way through, as the end started to get too spoilery for me (especially considering I’m still reading the novels) – so I had to stop reading but will definitely pick it up again once I’ve finished reading the Witcher Saga novels.
As I write this final send-off to my “Witcher Month” I’m actually still in the middle of reading the Witcher Saga novels by Andrzej Sapkowski, and am currently halfway through Baptism of Fire, the fifth book in the sequence. It’s surprised me just how much I’ve been enjoying these books, and I think reading them alongside playing the videogame has been a unique experience, one that will be hard to replicate in quite the same way in the future. The stories themselves have thus far been absolutely *fantastic* and Baptism of Fire shows signs of continuing this trend. The novels that I have read this month include:
Once I have finished the book I’m currently on it will spell the end of the officially translated and released English editions and I’ll be at a slight dilemma; do I continue reading the saga but using fan translations on a kindle or do I wait a year for the next official release? I don’t know the answer yet and will decide once I get to the end of Baptism of Fire. Anyhoo, I hope you have enjoyed these articles regarding The Witcher and my “Witcher Month”, as I very much enjoy having these themed months of gaming. I’m taking a slight break for the rest of August but will resume in September with my “Month of Metal Gear”. Now, enjoy an extended loop of one of the most haunting pieces of videogame music ever recorded: